Store the Backyard Toys – Yours and The Kids’

Fall is coming, school is starting, and you’re trying to get back to your regular routine. You’re not going to need your backyard crowded with outdoor play equipment, grills and summer furniture. And you’re probably not going to be doing any yardwork.

As the days get cooler and shorter, it’s time to start thinking about storing these items. But where? Your garage is already filled with junk ( and maybe your cars). Your attic is inconvenient for this type of storage, and you still haven’t gotten around to buying that backyard shed. It looks like the best solution for you is a safe, secure, climate-controlled self storage unit.

The first thing you need to do is find the right storage facility. There are a lot of great facilities available, but you want to choose one that best fits your needs. For some helpful hints read Choose the Right Self-Storage Facility

Store the Kid’s Toys

Every backyard play item does not have to find a new home in winter storage. Some things like swing sets, playhouses, and trampolines are permanent and are made to stay outside year round. Toys that you decide to store should be grouped and stored in an organized fashion. That way, when next summer rolls around, you won’t have to listen to your kids screaming for those giant legos and the PAW Patrol Ride-On Toys. You’ll save lots of tears and whining if you don’t have to search for small plastic sand toys that are hiding in giant Legos. 

A good method to categorize the toys is as follows:

  • Sports equipment
  • Yard Games (badminton, beanbag toss, horseshoes)
  • Balls
  • Sand toys
  • Water toys
  • Giant building blocks
  • Riding Toys

Start by giving the toys a good cleaning. They’ve been in the mud, the sand, and who knows what else. Allow plenty of time for drying – you don’t want to be faced with mold or mildew next summer – and then get them ready for storage.

Get Creative

Outfit your unit with shelves and place pallets on the floor to keep any boxes dry. Don’t forget to check that all batteries have been removed. Here are a few more tips to help make your project easier.

  1. Hang bikes and riding toys from the ceiling
  2. Use mesh laundry bags for small balls and toys 
  3. Hang the wading pool on one of the walls.
  4. Take pictures of the items in the boxes and stick them to the sides of the box
  5. If your unit is closely packed, hang a clipboard with a “map” to the location of each item (the kids can help with this).
  6. Build a  DIY rolling cart for sports equipment. It will hold all of your random balls, helmets, gloves, bats, and more and should work even in a small unit.

Now that we’ve tackled the important items, we can move onto your stuff.

Store Your Toys

Patio Furniture

You don’t want to leave your beautiful furniture outside to deteriorate during the rainy/snowy winter months. It goes without saying that you should wash it and let it dry thoroughly before moving it to storage. A climate-controlled unit will keep your furniture clean, dry, and ready for spring. Cover the furniture loosely to protect it from dust, but avoid plastic covers as they can build up damaging condensation even in a climate-controlled space. 

Grills

Gas grills should have their propane tanks removed and all valves should be fully turned off. Charcoal grills should be free of ash or dust.Grates, grease traps and all other components should be cleaned and free of any food residue that could attract bugs or rodents.

Lawnmowers and Yard Tools

Make sure they are clean, and run the engines until the gas tanks are empty. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for long-term storage so that your tools are in the best shape for the next yard care season.

Golf Clubs

These are not really useful in the backyard (unless you’re getting in a little extra practice), but it’s critical to store them properly. You don’t want them to have dents and nicks that will affect the ball’s trajectory and your performance. Don’t get lazy and store them in your trunk. The heat will damage the epoxy that affixes the clubhead to the shaft. The glue under the grip can also break down, causing the grip to slip around the shaft. If you’re going to store your clubs for more than a few weeks, make sure they are clean and dry. Moisture can lead to rust. Climate-controlled storage is the best environment to keep your clubs in top condition for next season.  

Before you know it, spring will be here again and you’ll be taking all of this stuff out of storage. You’ll be happy that you followed our tips and kept all of the “toys” in top condition and ready to go. Enjoy the coming holiday season, knowing that your summer toys are safe and secure.

Choose the Right Self Storage Facility

The school year is off to its usual confusing start. Fall is a few weeks away, and family gatherings, overnight guests, celebrations, and holiday decorating are closer than you think. Look around your home. Do you have enough space for these events? Is the guest room overflowing with stuff that you have no place for, is the kitchen in need of an update, and are the main rooms crowded with too much furniture? Did you ever think about renting a storage facility as a solution to all of these problems? 

The demand for self storage is high, and storage providers are working hard to meet this demand. Renting a facility is as easy as making a phone call or locating a website and clicking a “Reserve” button. There are so many great facilities available that you might need a system to help narrow down the competition. 

The following tips and suggestions will help you organize your ideas, prioritize your needs, and find storage that is the best fit for you.

Find the Perfect Self Storage Solution

Understand Your Needs

Think about what you’re storing and how long you plan to store these items. 

  1. Make an inventory of all the items you plan to store. 
  2. Identify the items that you might need to access while they are in storage. 
  3. Measure and estimate the collective packing size of the items you plan to store.
  4. Account for extra space to provide ventilation and ease of access.

Arrange your belongings for easy access. When storing items for short periods of time, it’s fine to pack everything close together. If you’re storing for a longer time, provide extra space for ventilation and for an aisle so that you can access belongings that you may need regularly. 

Decide Whether You Need a Climate-Controlled Unit

Climate-controlled spaces keep the temperature and humidity within a specific range. Whether or not you need a climate-controlled unit depends on the climate in which you’re storing your items. For example, dry climates can cause wood to crack and split, and humid climates can cause mold and mildew. Make your choice based on the value of your belongings and the cost of the unit. Climate-controlled units can be more expensive but worth the cost over time.

Think About Location

How many times will you need to visit your storage facility? If you’re going to need regular access, a convenient location is important. Be aware that a facility located in the heart of the city will be more expensive than one outside of town. If you don’t need quick access to your items, a facility farther from the city will be less costly.

Consider Size Options

Self-storage units are available in a wide range of sizes and configurations. Naturally, larger units cost more per month, so it’s a smart to have an overall idea of how much space you’ll need. You don’t want to pay for extra, unused space unless you’re planning to store more items over time. Another factor to consider is the design of the space. Some units are narrow but have a lot of vertical space; others are wider with lower ceilings. In some cases, one layout may be preferable.

Storage Facility Cost Can Vary Considerably

Because many storage facilities are independently owned, business owners have the option of setting their own prices. It’s always smart to shop around because you may be able to find a better deal by making a few phone calls. Storage companies frequently offer promotions. If your preferred facility isn’t offering any deals, it pays to ask. You can also mention a competitor’s promotion; the facility of your choice may be willing to match the deal.

Verify Security

Cost should not be your only consideration. You need a reputable company with state-of-the-art security, a variety of customer amenities, and a range of unit sizes that will be a good fit for your needs. Look for video surveillance, perimeter fencing, security locks, and electronic access. You’ll also want a knowledgeable management team that is willing to provide you with answers to your questions, a tour of the property, and a professional level of customer service.

Check Insurance

If you have homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, call your agent to verify that your stored belongings are covered under your present policy. You may find that your facility must provide specific security features in order for your items to be covered. If your policy does not cover stored items, you should be able to purchase insurance from your preferred storage company.

Whatever you do, choose carefully. It’s worth the time and effort to find the facility that is your best option. Once you’ve moved your belongings into a unit, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll want to take the time and trouble to switch facilities.